“Meet the Lord” is a weapons blazing showcase for Hawke as each an actor and co-writer. Straining his voice to the purpose the place it feels like fingernails being drawn throughout the within of his throat, and alternating his glances someplace between dead-eyed and hellfire, Hawke’s protagonist makes for an instantly bemusing and endearing determine. His trigger is simply, and the extra he rants about it like a damaged online game NPC trapped in a dialogue loop, the extra his insanity flirts with likability.
Through the climax of the primary episode, the Battle of Black Jack, he’s ranting about God defending them as a result of they’ve a lady on their facet, and but he is also taking a second between gunshots to sift via the belongings of a lifeless ally, stating, “When you don’t find time for God, God will find time for you” as he pockets a gold watch. It’s not that he’s a hypocrite; he’s simply delightfully oblivious, unconcerned or unaware that as he approaches battle, white followers are quietly ducking out behind him as they journey into the woods.
And but, that is contradicted by an earlier scene, during which director Albert Hughes’ normally wry route out of the blue turns into as bleakly ominous as a contemporary horror film (Jason Blum can also be an govt producer on the sequence). Whereas so far as I’m conscious, the actual Brown solely executed males believed to be slave hunters, such barbarism is depicted right here as befalling a person who doesn’t even personal slaves… he simply needs he may afford them and votes to make Kansas a slave state. A dim Crimson Shirt follower, whether or not this farmer dedicated any precise violence towards a Black physique or Free Stater is ambiguous. Even when he participated in raid on Lawrence (which he denies), that technically solely led to 1 Professional-Slavery follower’s dying.
Thus out of the blue all of the demented folksiness that makes Hawke’s efficiency inviting in different scenes is recast by the lengthy shadows of candlelight, and the decrease angled framing of a horror film villain. And that contradiction will not be hand-waved away and even grappled with. Brown is a person who lives and breathes abolition, however has no qualms about decapitating a household man whose culpability could also be strictly in his personal thoughts. It’s refreshing to see trendy tv dwelling within the muddy grays of humanity, versus simply blacks and whites, which is more and more turning into the norm.